Sick with Legionnaires?
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Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at Promenade at University Place, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at Promenade at University Place assisted living facility in suburban Albany, New York, has resulted in the death of one resident.

The Albany County Department of Health confirmed that two people were infected by Legionella bacteria, which causes the severe pneumonia (lung disease), at Promenade at University Place. The facility is located on Route 20 at 1228 Western Avenue in Guilderland, less than 10 miles northwest of downtown Albany.

Promenade at University Place, which opened in late December, was previously the site of a Best Western Sovereign Hotel that battled Legionnaires’ disease: From 2010 to 2012, a total of 19 people contracted the disease.

In 2012, the Sovereign Hotel’s remediation efforts included replacing a 40-year-old water heater and shower heads, and installing new water pipes.

Promenade at University Place:
Preliminary tests positive

Albany County health officials are working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to determine the cause of the illnesses in the 200-bed assisted living facility, which currently has 23 residents. Preliminary environmental tests of the water were positive for Legionella, county health officials said.

“The testing was done the same day we became aware of the second case,” Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, county health commissioner, told the Albany Times Union. “The facility has been … proactive in installing new shower filters and providing bottled water for drinking, and assistance with any bathing methods to really make sure they aren’t putting additional residents at risk.”

Facility staff notified residents and their families of the situation.

“We’ve taken immediate action to address the matter and make sure that we stay at the forefront of the safety of our residents,” facility CFO Paul Belitsis told the Times Union. “We’re openly communicating with them.”

Promenade at University Place:
Region familiar with disease

Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks have affected the New York capital region in recent years.

In 2016, a total of 18 people in the Saratoga Springs area, about 40 miles north of Albany, were sickened by the disease, including two who died. Many of those who took ill were connected to the Wesley Health Care Center, where five Legionella-contaminated sources were found.

Promenade at University Place:
Difficult diagnosis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) yearly in the United States. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific symptoms.

A 2015 CDC study stated that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”

Promenade at University Place:
High-risk demographics

Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 and older, especially those who smoke or have a chronic lung disease, are at a higher risk.

Others more susceptible to infection include anyone with an immune system compromised by:

  • frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections
  • organ infection and inflammation
  • blood disorders, such as anemia or low platelet counts
  • digestive problems, such as appetite loss, abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea
  • delayed growth and development.

In addition, the following groups also are more susceptible:

  • organ-transplant recipients
  • people on a specific drug protocol, such as corticosteroids
  • alcoholics.

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is almost always required. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

Promenade at University Place:
Legionnaires symptoms

Legionnaires’ disease usually develops two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella, and it generally begins with the following symptoms:

  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • chills.

By day two or three, symptoms can worsen and include:

  • dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • pleurisy (chest pains)
  • coughing, which can bring up blood or mucus
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, nausea)
  • mental confusion and other changes.

Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it can cause infections in wounds and elsewhere in the body, including the heart.

Promenade at University Place:
Hosts for Legionella

Legionella bacteria, which are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets (vapor or mist), thrive in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments, including:

  • water systems of large buildings, such as nursing homes, hotels, and hospitals
  • physical-therapy equipment
  • plumbing systems of large buildings
  • air-conditioning system cooling towers
  • hot-water heaters and tanks
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • whirlpools, hot tubs, and swimming pools
  • mist machines, like those in the produce sections of grocery stores
  • hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Free consultation

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: